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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving! What are your plans? Is anyone headed up to Napa to wine taste? Its finally gorgeous weather again to do it and Restoration hardware opened their restaurant in Yountville! Woho! I'm going Sunday but in the meantime I'm staying local and eating just 30 minutes outside San Francisco. My cousin is making 2 ducks and it is the most joyous thing ever and 10x better than Turkey! Would you ever go off the cuff and do a different meat?

My sister was here 2 weeks ago from Paris and she hadn't had Thanksgiving in a whopping 6 years so I made her 33rd birthday dreams come true, woke up at 6am and made her the entire incredible Thanksgiving meal from scratch! You guys, surprisingly its do-able to do the WHOLE THING solo!

I'll include my favorites of all the classic Thanksgiving dishes to help you have the best Thanksgiving ever ie the best mashed potato recipe (ie it involves 2+ sticks of butter, a fine sieve, the best variety of potato and a couple tricks ie never use a hand blender), my step mom's insane cornbread sausage/fennel and chorizo stuffing, my step aunts delish cranberries (the secret is lots of orange zest and walnuts), sweet potatoes (a souffle and no marshmallows) etc! Have a wonderful week and here are a few fun links from around the web of things I'm loving..

My favorite boutique champagne for the Thanksgiving holiday.


Champagne De Souda 3A- $66/ bottle including shipping

I sell it here for $66.  This biodyanamic champagne producer has straight rock star terroir!!! He owns the BEST land and has a huge rose quartz crystal in his barrel room to bring "good vibes" to the barrels. He plays Mozart to his sleeping barrels. I mean! Biodynamic crystals are sprinkled over the earth to protect his 60-80 year old vines. He has vines in the best Grand Cru villages- Avize, Bouzy, Ay, Ambonnay and the most delicate elegant bubble due to long aging on the lees. His wine has incredible salinity, finesse and lingering freshness! A blend of 50% chardonnay from Avize, 25% Pinot Noir from Ambonnay and 25% Pinot Noir from AY. Deep, bold assertive nose, wealth of creamy spices, lemon blossom, grapefruit, weight, presence and deep persistent fruit. Drink now or wait 3 years. 

Fun links for you guys:

The # 1 thing on my holiday wish list is this that Meghan Markle wore here. Obsessed. It is a splurge but you only need 1 thing right 





The Best Thanksgiving Feast Recipes!


CORN BREAD STUFFING- My step moms stuffing is cornbread stuffing with spicy chorizo sausage and also pork sausage. Make cornbread for about 8 -12 people I make cornbread in a 9X12 inch dish. Make the cornbread the day before and cover and leave out on counter. On thanksgiving saute celery, and onions in butter and a little olive oil until they are translucent. Add red pepper flakes to this mixture if you like it spicy! In a separate pan saute the chorizo ( I take it out of the casing the chop up small). Chorizo is very greasy so drain it well on paper towel before adding it to the dressing. Then saute the pork sausage I used whole foods fennel and pork sausage and drain this sausage also. Once the celery and onion are sauteed and the sausages are complete you can assemble the dressing. Crumble the cornbread into a large bowl into bite sized chunks add the onion and celery plus one additional cube of butter that has been melted. Add the sausages and mix well. I add some fresh thyme and a little sage, salt and pepper. The mixture will be a bit dry so add some chicken stock until it looks moist but still holds together. Dry or wet stuffing is not good. You will just have to try it. You can also add some dried cranberries for a little sweetness.




CRANBERRY SAUCE Cranberry recipe that is easy and our favorite. The ingredients are 1 pound fresh cranberries, 1 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup red current preserves or jelly, 1 cup water, 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts , 2 tablespoons grated orange peel. Combine all of the above, except orange peel and nuts , into a saucepan. Heat to boiling then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes. Skim foam off the top. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts and orange peel. Cover and refrigerate overnight.




TURKEY AND CHICKEN- Sicilian style whole chicken and turkey pieces with sage, lemon zest, thyme and milk simmered for 1.5h. YES! We didn't want a whole big Turkey but were not big meat eaters. So I bought some huge pieces of turkey thigh and breast and 1 whole organic Mary's chicken from Wholefoods. I'm obsessed with Sicilian ways to cook meat and keep them moist. I love this Jamie Oliver Chicken browned and then cooked in milk slowly in the oven for 2 hours at 375f with lemon, lemon zest, sage ( I left out the cinnamon for Thanksgiving) Recipe is here


SWEET POTATOES- I'm obsessed with Ruth Chris's recipe. It's sweet potatoes, eggs, vanilla, and then a topping of pecans, butter and brown sugar. I'm not a fan of marshmallows on my sweet potatoes. I think it's a oufff bizarre but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise.




MASHED POTATOES- Joel Robuchon is the MASTER! He's a genius. Here is the video where he makes them. Take 2lbs Yukon gold potatoes, wash them and make sure they're the same size. Cover in water about 2 quarts or 2 liters cold water and 1 tbls course salt. Add 10g of salt per liter of water. The skin will protect the potatoes. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook them for 25 mins. Test them with a knife and poke them and if they fall on their own they're ready! Hardest part is to peel them hot! Drain them and peel them. Put them through a potato ricer into a large saucepan. Turn onto medium and turn the potato flesh quickly out a bit with a spatula to dry them out for 5 mins. Don't use a hand mixer! Put a tablespoon of water in another saucepan so milk doesn't stick add 20-30cl or almost 1 cup of whole milk. Now work with small flame, low and 250g of really cold butter cut into pieces! Add little by little the milk.  Stir it in energetically for a smooth, creamy finish. Taste for salt and pepper. Then push it through a fine sieve it and you'll have a very creamy mashed potato!





GREEN BEANS- The trick here was cooking them for literally 2-3 minutes! I know that's fast but then a quick ice bath and the olive oil and salt and pepper. Best secret is frying some shallots and sprinkling all over the top. The best! I used a recipe like this. Also love this recipe- Lemon roasted green beans with marcona almonds




33 Never looked so good! 




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